High support among Estonians for reaching 2050 climate neutrality goal

Climate neutrality requires new wind farms and curbing of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture Source: TASS / Scanpix

Results from a new survey show that 70 percent of people support the objective to achieve climate neutrality in Estonia by 2050, but only 35 percent believe it to be achievable.

The Estonian government announced on Oct. 3 that it supports the 2050 climate neutrality goal.

The survey by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues included questions relating to global warming, achieving climate neutrality and school students' climate strikes. The survey was commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and carried out from Oct. 10 to 15.

Altogether 70 percent of the respondents were either in favor or somewhat in favor of achieving climate neutrality in Estonia by 2050, whereas 19 percent were against or somewhat against, and 11 did not have an opinion on the matter.

Meanwhile, 35 percent said they believe that climate neutrality can be achieved in Estonia by 2050, while 51 said that they do not deem it achievable, and 14 percent did not have an opinion. 

Analysis by the Tallinn Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute, published on Oct. 1, says oil shale energy should be replaced with wind, solar and nuclear energy and hydropower.

The survey by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues also inquired if respondents support the 2050 climate neutrality goal if it means that a nuclear power plant will be built in Estonia. The goal was supported by 44 percent, whereas 47 percent were against, and nine percent did not have an opinion in the matter.

The respondents were also asked if they support the plan of the state-owned energy group Eesti Energia to build the world's largest off-shore wind farm in the Baltic sea, 12 kilometers from the coast of the Hiiumaa island. 78 percent were in favor of and 13 percent against the plan while nine percent did not have an opinion.

The survey indicated that while 73 percent believe that global warming is taking place and 71 percent deem it to be caused by human activity, only 30 percent support the school students' strikes initiated by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Supporters of various parliamentary parties generally overwhelmingly believe that the climate is indeed getting warmer and the causes thereof are man-made.

Meanwhile, the share of respondents who hold the same belief among supporters of the junior member of the government coalition the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), however, was 51 percent, while 45 percent said no such change is taking place. 49 percent of this segment  said that the reasons of global warming relate to human activity, while 44 percent disagreed.

The survey was carried out online among 1,000 Estonian nationals aged 16 and over by pollster Turu-uuringute AS from Oct 10 to 15.

The Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTU Uhiskonnauuringute Instituut) is a think tank established in January 2016. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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